The movie Dead Poets Society A new English teacher, John Keating, is introduced to an all-boys preparatory school that is known for its ancient, strict, orthodox traditions and extremely high standards. He uses unorthodox methods to reach out to his students, who face enormous pressures from their parents and the school. With Keating’s help, students Neil Perry, Todd Anderson and others learn to break out of their shells, pursue their dreams and seize the day.
In this film, in one of the books that the students that have been given, there is an introduction section called “ Understanding Poetry” by “ Dr J Evans Pritchard PHD.” This section of the film is an introduction to poetry, which describes a method of figuring out a poems greatness. According to the film, a poems greatness is graphed by calculating its importance, along with the poems perfection, in order to calculate a poems total greatness. In the film, there were two poems were compared by Pritchard in order for the students to at least get some idea of what poems were “ greater” than others. The film compared a sonnet by Lord Byron to a sonnet by William Shakespeare, it stated that a sonnet by byron would “ score high on importance, but only average on the perfection” where as the shakespearian sonnet would score high both horizontally, according to the film, “ revealing the poem to be truly great.” Today I’m going to take a look at the rating method employed by DR J. Evans Pritchard PHD, and I will apply this method to 3 different pieces of poetry in order to determine wether or not this method is actually a reasonable method to follow when trying to “Understand Poetry.”
Its important to remember, that as stated above, the first aspect I would be rating for this poem is its importance. Generally, the term “ importance “ can be interpreted in 2 different ways, the former, being its importance to general life itself and the latter, being its importance to the writer at the time of publication. As a result in order to analyse the poems importance I will talk about both of these aspects to combine an “average score” for the poem.
Once I have reviewed a poems “ importance”, then according to Pritchard’s rating method I must review a poems perfection. What the term “ Perfection” actually means in the case of poetry remains unknown to the viewer and open to interpretation, so I will analyse the term perfection from multiple different interpretations to then come up with an average score. Once this is done then my poetry review using the method is complete.
The first poem I will be reviewing is called “ Stopping by woods on a snowy evening” by Robert Frost. This poem is one of Robert Frost’s more “well known classic” poems. Published in 1923, it very quickly became one of those poems which countless amounts of people remembered, but even though many millions of people knew the words of the poem by heart, interpreting what the poem actually is no where near as straight forward.
The Second poem I will be reviewing is called I Wandered Lonely as a cloud (By William Wordsworth). This poem is a lyric poem focusing on the poet’s response to the beauty of nature. More specifically, the poem recaptures a moment on April 15th, 1802, when Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, were walking near a lake at Grasmere, Cumbria County, England. While walking, they came across a shore lined with daffodils. This experience is what specifically brought about this poem to be written.
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